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Keep on bittering with the Bitter Maestro

This most recent Mixology Monday theme was one that I’m slowly but most surely embracing, bitter (to be true the theme was brown, bitter and stirred – so brown spirit, bittering agent or agents of some kind, stirred and served).  Several of the entrants beyond my, fabulously fine entries, caught my eye for a recreate and the first of these for me to try was Paul’s entry called the Bitter Maestro. Created by Brooke Arthur while at the Range in San Francisco it is an excellent drink to show case how spirit and bittering agents can interact to create an experience that is mellow, flavorful and of course bitter.

Bitter Maestro
Recipe created by Brooke Arthur while at the Range in San Francisco and sourced from Paul’s blog

•    1 1/2 oz rye (Rittenhouse bonded)
•    1/2 oz applejack (Laird’s bonded)
•    1/2 oz Amaro Nonino
•    1/2 oz Dubonnet Rouge
•    1 dash grenadine
•    Garnish: none
Glass: champagne coupe
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon and a julep strainer

Assembly: Combine all of the ingredients in the mixing glass with ice and stir for at least 30 seconds until well chilled, strain the mixture into the serving glass.

The verdict: What struck me after my first sip was how smooth this drink tastes.  For some strange reason I had, I’m sure based on a feeling conveyed by the name, for it to be bitter forward in taste.  But this was not the case.  It is nicely balanced with a touch of sweetness and woody charred flavors that leads to a lingering soft bitterness on the after palate.  The heat from the double dose of bonded spirits also presents itself towards the end but with the bitterness factor the heat is held nicely in check.  All-in-all a great drink to sample and well worth the effort and for me, a remake at some point when the weather turns cooler.

theSpeakista’s Rating: 3 3/4  stars (out of 5)

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